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June 8th, 2010
09:01 PM ET

Evening Buzz: New, Clearer Images of Oil Leak

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/TRAVEL/06/08/oil.spill.beaches/t1larg.pensacola.gi.jpg caption="Workers pick up oil residue Tuesday that has washed up on Pensacola Beach, Florida." width=300 height=169]

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

Tonight we have new images of the Gulf oil leak and new evidence BP isn't providing the public with all the details on it. The new images are coming from high-resolution cameras, which provide a much clearer view of the leak. We'll give you a look at them tonight on the program. The high-resolution footage from last Thursday before the cap was put in place can help government experts take more accurate measures of how much oil and gas spilled into the Gulf. Yet this is the first we’ve seen these images: on Day 50 of the disaster.

Massachusetts Democrat Rep. Ed Markey wants to know if BP deliberately low-balled the size of the spill. Markey will talk about the controversy tonight on the 360°.

In the first days of the spill "they kept telling the American public it was only 1,000 barrels per day," Markey said today at a news conference on Capitol Hill. "They then raised it to 5,000. They are now pulling up 10 to 12,000 barrels", he added.  Markey suggests "they got lawyered up." He believes "they were told not to tell the truth about the larger amount of oil." "BP is either lying or grossly incompetent," Markey said.

Also on Capitol Hill today, a brother of one of the 11 workers killed in the oil rig explosion spoke to the Senate Judiciary Committee. In an emotional appearance, Christopher Jones took aim at BP CEO Tony Hayward.

"Mr. Hayward, I want my brother's life back," Jones said in direct reference to Hayward's comment last week that he would "like his life back."

Hayward has been summoned to testify before the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations on June 17.

We continue to dig into what happened on the BP/Transocean oil rig when it exploded on April 20. Tonight you'll hear more from five survivors. They share what they saw and heard on the deck; and the problems they say they witnessed on the rig.

50 days later, Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen reported today that BP stopped 14,800 barrels (621,000 gallons) of oil from flowing into the Gulf in the past 24 hours with help from the containment cap. And, in the past four days, since the cap was put in place, BP has collected a total of 42,500 barrels (1.8 million gallons) of oil.

Pres. Obama announced today he'll return to the gulf Monday and Tuesday. In his fourth visit to the region since late April, he will go to Florida, Alabama and Mississippi. All his previous visits were to Louisiana only.

We'll have all these developments and much more starting at 10 p.m. ET on 360° live from Louisiana. See you then.


Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
soundoff (80 Responses)
  1. Ron Paget

    Anderson

    Keep it up. Someone needs to be the opposing force to BP's subjugation.

    Concerning the plumes, a 2001 MMS sponsored study in Norway found 90% or more plumes underwater immediately after a live experiment of an actual crude release at 2000 depth. Both BP and MMS are being very quiet about common knowledge in the industry.

    Ron Paget
    Houston, Texas

    June 8, 2010 at 11:26 pm |
  2. Deb

    Keep them honest Anderson....And big companies like BP should realize that they would be nothing if it wasn't for all us "little guys" and maybe when they sit down for supper they should take a look on their plate and think long and hard where it all comes from...

    June 8, 2010 at 11:25 pm |
  3. Kent speaks

    The pictures are clearer, but there is no scale. Remember that piece of metal is 10000 pounds of steel 48 inches across, and the pipe it closes was 21 inches across. Maybe we should nationalize BP assets and talk to them about what part we will give back if they can solve the problem.

    June 8, 2010 at 11:24 pm |
  4. Fran Adams

    It's a crime what BP is doing to the birds, wetlands & wildlifr. Perhaps BP should jump into the spill & feel the effects!!!!

    June 8, 2010 at 11:22 pm |
  5. Dave Morris

    We the citizens of The United States, as a whole, should boycott BP. We should stop buying any products made or sold by BP. Anyone who owns stock in BP should divest themselves. This oil spill is a tragedy. Lets show BP we how we feel by taking away from them the only thing they seem to care about, their money.

    June 8, 2010 at 11:21 pm |
  6. Lisa (Alberta-Canada)

    There is something seriously wrong with this world if oil is allowed to leak into the ocean for 50 days. What is going ON?!? My heart breaks for all the poor animals that are suffering at the hands of us humans. I am disgusted to be a part of the human race. Humans have NO respect for anything. Dispicable

    June 8, 2010 at 11:14 pm |
  7. Kevin

    Exactly my thoughts as well. They need a funnel like pipe that gets bigger as it goes up and let it come directly to the surface for immediate collection.

    Anderson – keep up the great work... this is a tragedy beyond belief and there is no excuse they have not contained or isolated it it 50 days in.

    June 8, 2010 at 11:11 pm |
  8. David

    Why can there not be a pipe that is slightly bigger than the coupler that is below the cut off pipe, lowered and placed over or attached to the coupler? Could this be a pipe that is continually the same diameter to the surface, so the oil could be raise in a contained area and be captured at the surface of the water?

    June 8, 2010 at 10:50 pm |
  9. dave stone DELAWARE

    Dave Stone Delaware ..i think the piping can work

    June 8, 2010 at 10:49 pm |
  10. Brian Humphrey

    Robert, I was thinking the same. Great question.

    June 8, 2010 at 10:49 pm |
  11. DAS

    There is NO REASON that this oil can't be contained!!! A functional pipeline was erected from the damaged pipe to the platform before this accident occured. All they have to do is construct another pipeline that is 1.5 times the original diameter of the cut pipe and lower that entire new wider pipeline directly over the damaged pipe. MOST of the oil (95%) would flow up through this wider pipeline directly into a new platform that could then pump oil into Oil Container Ships. The new pipeline could be constructed above water from a new oil platform and lowered from the platform directly over the gushing damaged pipe. The Army Corp of Engineers could assist in the construction of this new pipeline. The underwater submersibles can hold this hasty flexible pipeline in place until the relief wells a completed. THIS WILL Resolve this matter is a number of days! I can assist.

    June 8, 2010 at 10:46 pm |
  12. Matt McCormick

    Why couldn't we put a pipe in the well down deep enough and pump concrete till it stops. I live in west central Florida I'll be seeing oil soon

    June 8, 2010 at 10:44 pm |
  13. Greg Gramig

    Hi Anderson,

    HOW TO CALCULATE THE SPILL

    Calculating the volume of oil is really not too complex, especially now with the High Def images. Here is how.

    There are readily available pipe volume-velocity calculators on-line which can be used in our effort to make fairly accurate calculations. Just plug in the numbers and out come the answers.

    Let's look at the HD image of the leak, establish a 21 inch guage on your screen with a compass by measuring across the riser pipe as that is exactly 21 inches and mark out 5 feet or 60 inches or 3 times the width measurement taken on the compass.

    This should be fairly easy, just pencil marks on your screen vertically 3 times the compass width or width of the riser pipe.

    OK, now you are ready to determine the velocity of flow. Make 10 observations measuring vertical movement of clouds of oil rise above the 21 inch riser pipe. with your marks. Add all those distances and divide by 10 to obtain an average velocity.

    Now, we have what is needed to make real calculations of volume. Now just plug the velocity into one of the on-line calculators and the pipe diameter of 21 inches at 100% fluid flow to obtain gallons per minute. Multiple out by 60 minutes and 24 hours and you have it. Gallons per day spilled.

    My measurements indicate an absolute minimum measurement of 5 feet per second up to a measurement approaching 10 feet per second.

    Let's be very conservative and use 5 feet per second, this equals:

    7,772,871 Gallons Per Day
    172,730 Barrels Per Day

    350 Million Gallons over 50 days
    7.7 Million Barrels over 50 days

    Is there something to hide here. Only if you have to pay a fine based on total gallons of oil spilled. But BP has stated they are not interested in the volume spilled, only fixing it!

    BP is not interested in how much is spilling is tantamount to BP stating with absolute clarity that they and their company could care less how much damage is caused to the Gulf of Mexico and the United States.

    It is time to have goverment officials aboard every BP vessel in the gulf and plugged into every feed, attend every meeting, and make copies of every radio, telecommunication, data and or converged communication.

    June 8, 2010 at 10:43 pm |
  14. Trese

    OK - I am just as devastated by this disaster as anybody. BUT I have an interesting and independent perspective. My father and both of my brothers were/are Georgia Tech Mechanical Engineers. None of them worked in the oil industry, but I have heard way too many discussions about the compications related to fluid dynamics - not to mention robotic access a mile deep in the Gulf. This is not Star Wars. There are limitations. Everybody at BP are still human limited by the simple laws of physics. Our expectations seem to be a lot more like science fiction than science to me. The demonstration on your show made it clear that measuring the flow of mixed crude and natural gas from multiple leaks with multiple unknowns (e.g., drill bit and pipe kinks) is no easy task.

    I have also worked for major corporate law firms for the past 25 years. I am not a lawyer. I do not defend BP in any way - but I can tell you that everything they have done thus far is 100% related to their legal liability and every major corporation on the planet would follow their legal counsel at this point. Whether the public has the "right" to high definition video and exact measurements - well, maybe. Does BP have an interest in stopping this leak and cleaning up the mess? ABSOLUTELY! And their executives' "standard of living" is in jeopardy. But honestly. The flow rate will come out in the investigation/litigation at some point and BP's attorneys and executives know that - but it would have been buried under mountains of paper, motions, hearings, studies and maybe decades. In addition, the corporation had a slight chance all along the way to mitigate the damages to its total image - if not the eco-system. That's over. It probably can't get worse, so they've throw in the towel. It's about time, but I doubt very seriously that they haven't done their best - as sad and devastating as that has been.

    June 8, 2010 at 10:43 pm |
  15. Marilynn

    It is all about the bottom line, liability, and avoiding paying for the total amount of oil spilled out into the gulf. If we can't count it, see it or measure it...it is whatever they say it is. I say take control of the crime scene away from the criminals. If I were the criminal in question, I would do everything at my disposal for as long as possible to hamper the investigation and to destroy evidence. Every piece of clothing, hazmat suit, dead animal down to the very last baby shrimp is evidence as related to this crime against our sovereign nation by a foreign company.

    BP is partly owned by the British Government. Has anyone considered freezing their assets? I think they will be busy moving the money to the stock holders quickly and then will figure that it's best to declare bankruptcy rather than to pay for this.

    June 8, 2010 at 10:43 pm |
  16. Wendy

    Thank you for responding to my queries from the other night regarding how and where the wildlife rescuers are searching and how many of them are searching. I appreciate it.

    In the footage you showed a few nights ago, there was a small pipe that one of your experts said was spraying dispersant into the oil as it comes out of the tube.

    The EPA ordered BP to stop using the dispersant but I want to know why they were still using it underwater?

    And are they currently using it on the oil that isn't going into the cap?

    Thanks for all the good reporting.

    June 8, 2010 at 10:43 pm |
  17. Jim Harrison

    Are we really accomplishing anything by spinning our wheels and money on how much oil is coming out of this well. Why not just research wells with the same characteristics that you have data on and estimate. It is not how much that is coming out that is important. It is the fact that it is still coming out. We are a nation that has spent trillions of dollars over the last 9 years playing God and caretaker for other nations. I think it is time we take the resources from our military bring all we need home with that equipment we have and will be buying to support other nations, focus for once on our need. Clear and clean this up no matter what the cost( because that is the attidute we take in the war on terror) then we can go back to babysitting all these other nations. Take over BP like we did our US companies use their funds and hold ownership till they pay it back, and quit talking about what is right or wrong. We will never all agree on the same action,but we can make our nation's well being priority one for once anyway.

    June 8, 2010 at 10:43 pm |
  18. Janice Ocala Florida

    Hey Anderson
    I agree with some of the blogger just shut the well down..someone needs to take control away from BP and start the clean up and permanently shut it down.
    also cameras would add extra stress to the animals..growing up with horse's and other animals I can relate about keeping things quite to keep them from panicking

    June 8, 2010 at 10:39 pm |
  19. Phil Crone

    Don't blame Pres Obama. It's BPs responsibility to fix this. If he restricts drilling in the gulf, no doubt fuel prices will increase. Pres. Obama is in a totally no win situation. This president is the best president the U.S has had for a long time. He just happens to be in the chair. Bush is breathing a sigh of relief. BP is thinking of only one thing – BP. DO NOT give them any leeway – none. They've caused this catastrophe, they pay for it.

    June 8, 2010 at 10:38 pm |
  20. C. Crockett

    Anderson, the reason you can't get a picture of the oiled birds is because the wildlife rescue operations chosen to help had to sign gag orders too. I had to sign one given to me by the facility on the North Shore of Lake Pontchartrain, where they're being taken from Fort Jackson. I never actually worked with a bird but just in case, I had to sign a gag order. I imagine they're afraid BP will start paying another maybe out of state facility to care for our birds if they'll comply.

    June 8, 2010 at 10:38 pm |
  21. Tracey

    Why can't they use the ROV to employ some kind of balloon down the hole, then inflate it once in side. If its pressure that is the problem then install a relief valve some where on this blow out. The hole where the oil is coming out looks smaller then the housing it sits on, there for some thing could block it once inside.

    June 8, 2010 at 10:37 pm |
  22. Brian Humphrey

    DETERMINING FLOW RATE

    Anderson, one piece of information that would be essential to determine the flow rate is the number of barrels BP was pumping per day. The scientists can then use that number and factor it up by say 10 or 20% to compensate for the friction that drilling process would slow the output rate. As an example, if is BP was pumping 10,000 barrels a day; assuming 10% friction due to the smaller diameter of the pipe connected to the rig and back-flow apparatus, then an unrestricted flow would be 11,000 per day. Other factors may apply. I am confident BP engineers would know how to perform this simple calculation and what all the factors that would limit the output during the normal drilling process.

    June 8, 2010 at 10:36 pm |
  23. Steve

    Per your segment regarding not being allowed to show video of hamred wildllife ... what ever happened to the "freedom of the press"???

    June 8, 2010 at 10:35 pm |
  24. JOHN DONNELLY

    WHY WONT THE GOV. TAKE OVER . THE ITS BECASE ITS ALL ABOUT $$$$$$$ ....

    June 8, 2010 at 10:34 pm |
  25. Steve Sybesma

    A layman's estimate of how much oil is being leaked into the gulf:

    To help get a handle on what's going on in the video as far as how much oil in a day is being released it may help to do some math to break this down into some basic units we can conceive of:

    1 barrel is 42 gallons (source: Wikipedia)

    If you can imagine that perhaps (in a huge 22" diameter pipe) that 2/3 of what you're viewing might be bubbling natural gas and 1/3 might be liquid oil), then it wouldn't be a stretch to imagine that 42 gallons of oil are spewing out every couple seconds.

    In a 22" diameter pipe, you have a cross-sectional area of close to 3 square feet.

    So, for the sake of rough estimation I'd say one of those square feet may be oil, and the other two may be natural gas.

    In the area that is oil, a vertical segment one foot in height would come to 7.5 gallons of oil (1 cubic foot is 7.5 gallons).

    Therefore, assuming what is flowing past the camera is taking place at a rate of only 3 feet per second, you can easily come to a value of 22.5 gallons per second, or a little over half a barrel per second.

    So, for the sake of rounding, we'll say 1/2 a barrel a second.

    In a day, there are 86,400 seconds.

    That works out to 43,200 barrels per day. I think that's probably a very reasonable ballpark estimate.

    June 8, 2010 at 10:31 pm |
  26. jim

    whey don't they unbolt the well head with the 6 bolts then replace the well head ,bolt it back down then close the vaule.

    June 8, 2010 at 10:30 pm |
  27. Neil

    What were the gallon numbers of oil taken from the riser pipe three days before the explosion? BP has to have records of what they were processing prior to this accident....

    June 8, 2010 at 10:29 pm |
  28. 81lion

    15k barrels a day , big joke . more like 50,000.

    June 8, 2010 at 10:29 pm |
  29. steve becker

    The hd images are repulsive. But, I would like to see the hd images of the leak as it is today with the cap on

    June 8, 2010 at 10:29 pm |
  30. Robert Garcia

    Here's my question. Why is this pipe so hard to cap. I understand you have a lot of pressure. But why not put on a cap that allows pressure to flow through but has a shut off valve on it. All you would need is a valve with supported overlapping blades. Half connected to the cap itself, the other half connected to a swivel shut off valve. Then you can secure the cap without a massive amount of pressure building up, and then shut it off once it is firmly secured. Even a large ball valve might work well.

    June 8, 2010 at 10:25 pm |
  31. Georgia

    These new HD pictures are horrific. BP-lies & liars, or as we say in the South I smell the strong odor of mendacity.

    June 8, 2010 at 10:25 pm |
  32. Sheryl

    I live here in Southeast Louisiana and I hate what is happening to the Gulf Of Mexico. Why can't this leak be stopped? Our way of life seems to be slipping by each day this oil spurts out.

    June 8, 2010 at 10:25 pm |
  33. Charles King

    I don't want to sound naive but is bp trying to stop the leak or simply save access to the well. Wouldn't it be better to simply collapse the well and stop the leak, and couldn't this be done by exploding a charge close enough the well to close it off then worry about drilling laterm seems like they are simply trying to save on an investment.

    June 8, 2010 at 10:24 pm |
  34. D.Marse

    I suggest that BP loosen the bolts of the flange below the broken pipe and slide a blind in between it . This will stop the flow of oil. They may have to replace the bolts to a longer length to tighten it dowm depending on the thickness of the blind.

    June 8, 2010 at 10:23 pm |
  35. Steve Wyoming

    There should be no real mystery about the amount of oil coming out. Other wells in the same formation "flowtested" at between 40,000 and 50,000 per day. Those would have been out of 2 inch high pressure lines and one inch choke. This one is blowing out wide open

    June 8, 2010 at 10:23 pm |
  36. Alma Hough

    Anderson,

    Couldn't BP bring oil tanker ships into the Gulf and suction up the oil and water? I believe that these ships are capable of separating the oil and the water. Then the cleaned water could be put back into the Gulf.

    June 8, 2010 at 10:23 pm |
  37. Tim B

    I think the goverment should have stepped in on day one and took over this operation and kicked bp out of the way.This has went on too long .The goverment should start paying to get done what needs to be done then take the money from them.(BP)

    June 8, 2010 at 10:21 pm |
  38. art bowles

    looking at the new images, i see a flange. why cant the flange be unbolted and a new flange with a shut off be attached. they use this type of set up when they put out oil well fires and use this flange/shut off system to control the oil output.

    June 8, 2010 at 10:18 pm |
  39. C. Crockett

    Actually Anderson was right the first time. The organ music in the background of the interview is called a CAL-liope here, like the street, not cal-LI-ope like it's pronounced elsewhere. I'm sure it's been a long day, but you got it right anyway, as usual.

    June 8, 2010 at 10:18 pm |
  40. Lisa in Louisville

    This is sickening!! Not being transparent? They are just plain lying! Do they think that the public is really that stupid?

    Eleven men are dead. Thousands and thousands of acres of wetlands have been destroyed, a whole way of life in the Gulf has been compromised and the CEO of BP wants HIS life back? That is absolutely unconscionable.

    No wonder no one from BP will appear on AC360. Anderson has done his homework and has the facts to dispute BP's executives.

    June 8, 2010 at 10:15 pm |
  41. Sonia Howell

    That high resolution is awsome! Now we can really see what is comming. The detail helps things in a new perspective. To bad this wasn't done sooner.

    June 8, 2010 at 10:11 pm |
  42. Stephen B. Newman

    Anderson I have been watching your programs espically on the oil coming from the ocean floor of the Gulf of Mexico. I was wonder is BP trying to save this well because of the money that it can still bring them? They have tried various ways to funnel this oil to the top of the surface. Why don't they just shut it off by any means? Also, BP needs to reimburse those communities that are taking action now to prevent any further damage instead of waiting for BP's approval, etc. This is not and should not be a polictical manner. We as a community and nation need to do the right thing. Why haven't we involved our military, national guards, the unemployeed, etc ?

    June 8, 2010 at 10:09 pm |
  43. Greg Hudspeth, David Elms

    Anderson I have been following this disaster since the start and have even submitted ideas to the BP system to address the problem. The problem reported is that the riser removal cut was not precise enough for an apprpriate sealing surface to attach the LMRP. Could you please ask why the top flange has not been removed to allow the proper sealing surface. Even though the drill pipe is in the hole a spool piece can be installed on the riser without the leaks that are accuring with the current methods being used. I would like to know if there are other damages to the BOP that would not allow the capping of the well. Thanks for your work keeping us informed.

    June 8, 2010 at 10:05 pm |
  44. Cobra212

    If BP claims to have captured 14,800 barrels of oil in the last 24 hours, and they are still just capturing a "portion" of the oil leaking (look at the video), they either can't do simple math or they have been dramatically low balling their estimates. How can they now claim only 10-12,000 barrels a day is leaking and then claim to have captured 14,800 as a small portion of the overall leak?

    June 8, 2010 at 10:05 pm |
  45. Jane Smith

    Where is our government?? I agree the oil companies have the equipment to attempt the fix of the rig but what about what is happening on top. Someone in our government needs to make decisions to start and allow local people aid and help their communities.

    June 8, 2010 at 10:04 pm |
  46. Chris Fehr

    Dispersed oil can't be cleaned up. Oil can be. So, I understand the idea behind dispersing the oil so that the immediate exposure to sealife will be minimal but what will the dispersed oil cause long term. The oil will still be entrained in ocean water. I think they're better off to allow the oil to rise to the top, separate and subsequently be cleaned up properly. Immediate exposure to oil will kill millions of underwater creatures in a short time, not billions of underwater creatures and reefs over a long term. Not to mention if the dispersed oil doesn't kill sealife how will it affect it and how affected will we become when we consume it.

    June 8, 2010 at 10:03 pm |
  47. rose

    I agree 100% with Annie

    June 8, 2010 at 9:45 pm |
  48. Helen Bevel

    I propose that BP and all offshore oil wells be shut down and inspected by a citizen and government group for safeguards against this ever happening again. In addition the concentration in crude oil in America should be on oil reclamation from our Gulf and ocean. Let all energy be directed at harvesting the spilt oil first and foremost.

    Everyone must get involved. This is a time when all hands are needed on deck. All minds need to be directed towards cleaning-up. Fishermen with boats need to be outfitted with newly developed equipment for extracting oil from water and purifying the water. A quick freeze method would be best. Also portable equipment should be made for individuals on land or platforms to do the same. The oil gathered could then be sold to local brokers for the highest price.

    This way those who are without a livelihood will be able to prosper during these times based on the amount of organization, ingenuity and labor they put into cleaning oil from our Gulf and currents.

    The crime has been committed, so the people need to see good faith that this was just an accident and not a terrorist plot to destroy our country, its waterways, our presidential image and the livelihood of millions of people.

    Let’s be diligent in cleaning up this oil before the hurricanes come. All hands on deck. ATTENTION.

    Myeka

    June 8, 2010 at 9:37 pm |
  49. Annie Kate

    Rep. Markey is probably right – BP managers are both incompetent and lying. I'm sure their lawyers have told them not to volunteer any information that is not asked for and to low ball estimates of spillage, time to get this spill contained, time to do clean-up. Any place along the Gulf ought to go ahead and start their own protective measures and clean up and not wait for permission from BP or advice from them or especially for BP to come do it for them.

    Is Hayward a US citizen? If not, does he have to comply with the Congress request to appear before them? I would still love to know an accurate estimate of how much oil has spilled into the Gulf. I imagine the magnitude of the number would shock and sicken us. Even now, I don't believe their numbers – they don't seem to add up.

    Glad 360 is staying at the Gulf and covering this. This accident and its repercussions are going to impact and influence American life for a long time. Looking forward to the show tonight.

    June 8, 2010 at 9:32 pm |
  50. Annie Shows

    Thanks for keeping the pressure on.

    June 8, 2010 at 9:22 pm |
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